CCSU Esports Center Now Open

The Esports Center at Central Connecticut State  reopened Monday after careful preparation from the staff.

The Chief Information Officer at CCSU, George Claffey, said safety was a primary concern when considering the Esports Center’s reopening.

“We worked in concert with facilities over the summer, to make sure that it was going to be a safe space to open,” Claffey said. “There’s UV air filtration in there, there are keyboard wipes, and we purchased disposable headphones.”

“I think people are excited,” he said. “There were students standing outside the windows looking in when we were in there two weeks earlier prepping.”

Tina Rivera, an Associate Director of IT Strategic Initiatives and Projects and co-chair for the Esports team, said a large part of the reopening was due to high demand from students.

“We were getting, you know, inquiries from students on a regular basis, asking when it was going to be open,” she said.

Nick Streifel, the Esports Center Operations Supervisor, said he has many roles in the operations of the Esports Center.

“So, the first main function is the one that I really deal with, and that is creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for students,” he said. “Just come in, swipe the blue-chip, and just play games with each other.”

Streifel said they plan to have tournaments and weekly events at the Esports Center.

“But yeah, really, we’re trying to do stuff every week, either every Thursday or Friday,” he said.

Streifel said they are adding more games to the Esports Center, but would like student input.

“There’s an Esports committee that has a survey that they put out, so students could fill out that survey with any game requests,” he said. “The more people fill out that survey, the better.”

James Mulrooney, the Dean for the School of Education and Professional Studies and co-chair for the esports team, said they are in the process of getting the Esports team ready for tournaments.

“And right now, we are in the process of searching, hiring the coach,” he said. “As soon as that person is in place, we can go to the next step of actually assembling that varsity team.”

Mulrooney sees the Esports Center as a way to help resume activities before COVID-19.

“So, to me, anything that we can do to return to normal if you will, is something that I want to be involved in,” he said.

The Esports Center is now open Monday through Friday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.